Italeri 1/72 F-5F Tiger II – Sundowners aggressor
This is my first of 2 entries for the Year of the Cat group build. I already had this on my 2017 build plan, so was happy about that!
This is an older kit that was recently reboxed with new art and the Sundowners aggressor decals (among options) that I had been eager to build. I saw a magazine article with pics of the Sundowner aggressors in various colors, and wanted to build two of them - the full-tail sunburst version (which I found on both single and two-seat versions of the F-5) and the half-tail sunburst version, specifically on the 3-tone tan scheme. The 2-seat version with full-tail sunburst seemed to only coincide with the 3-tone grey scheme (I originally wanted to do the blue), so that's what I went for. I also contacted Italeri and they send me an additional copy of the decals, so I have what I need for the second build when I get to it.
The build was complete OOB except I replaced the gun barrels with some thinner styrene rod, as the originals just looked way too thick. I also had to add the Air Combat Maneuvering Sensor, as there wasn't one included. This I took from a Hasegawa weapons set. I should have also replaced the notched sidewinder, as the mounting notch is just way too visible. Oh well...
I used Vallejo Model Color paint (brushed as usual). I figured since these were not combat aircraft, they wouldn't be very dirty, so weathering was kept to a minimum (raised panel lines enhanced with pastel chalk, control surface panel lines with panel wash, and some oil staining underneath). However, the Sundowners are based in Florida, so I used white artist oils and mineral spirits to try to add some sun fading to the upper surfaces of the aircraft. It came out to my satisfaction, though the fading doesn't show up in the pics as well as live (tried to show a close-up or two to make it as visible as possible).
I included a pic of the original article that inspired the build, and another of the F5-F in grey scheme.
Not sure when I'll get to the F-5E in the tan scheme - still working on the Jaguar and the Privateer, and we just initiated a 50's group build for my local club, so pulled a Javelin out of the stash for that...
11 additional images. Click to enlarge.